London Fire Brigade

Seven lives saved at Lewisham flat fire

15 August 2012

The London Fire Brigade has said this morning that firefighters in south London have saved the lives of seven people after a fire broke out at a block of flats.

The blaze broke out in a four storey block of flats on Campshill Road in Lewisham, SE13, which is in south east London.

Firefighters rescued five women, one child, and one baby, and the Brigade’s control officers gave life saving advice over the phone to those inside the flats.

Station Manager Ziggy Hurrion is based at the Brigade’s headquarters in Southwark, he was at the scene and said:

“Seven lives were saved in the early hours of this morning due to the quick thinking actions of our staff.

“Both our control officers, who handled the 999 calls from those inside the flats, and the brave actions of our firefighters, ensured that five women and two children were safely rescued from the blaze. They were all heroes this morning.

“Ambulance crews and police officers also did a great job at what was undoubtedly a challenging incident for all who attended.

“Nine people were taken to hospital and fortunately, at this stage, we don’t believe anyone was seriously injured. I can’t praise the actions of our staff enough as this incident could easily have ended in tragedy.”

A total of nine people were taken to hospital by ambulance.

In addition to those who were rescued,  four people jumped from the first floor of the building before firefighters arrived on the scene. The four, two men and two women, were amongst the nine people taken to hospital by ambulance. The remaining five were suffering from smoke inhalation.

A further woman and baby were treated on the scene by crews from London Ambulance Service.

Met Police officers evacuated 31 additional people from the building. It’s thought they are now being looked after by staff from Lewisham Council.

Parts of the ground, first, second and third floors of the four storey building were damaged by fire. The Brigade’s fire investigators are carrying out a thorough investigation with Met Police officers to establish how the blaze started.

The Brigade was called at 0229 and the fire was under control by 0444.

Six fire engines and around 30 firefighters attended the incident. They were from Lewisham, Forest Hill, Lee Green, Downham and Deptford fire stations.

The London Fire Brigade’s advice on how to escape from a fire includes the following:

• Close any doors which are open, and only open the doors you need to go through. This will help to stop the fire spreading so rapidly.
• Get everyone out as quickly as possible and call 999.
• Never stop to collect valuables and never go back inside. If there is still someone inside, tell firefighters when they arrive – they will be able to find the person quicker and more safely than you.  
The Brigade offers further advice on what to do if a fire breaks out on it’s website.


Operational information about the fire

Nine people were rescued in total:

• A woman and child were rescued from the third floor of the building by firefighters using a hydraulic platform (like a cherry picker)
• A woman and child were rescued by fire crews using a ladder from the first floor
• Another woman was rescued from the second  floor via a ladder
• Two women were rescued by firefighters wearing breathing apparatus from the ground floor of the building

Four people, two men and two women, jumped from the first floor of the building.

Those requiring medical treatment:

• A total of nine people were taken to hospital
• Two women and two men were taken to hospital with fall injuries, having jumped from the first floor of the building.
• A further five were taken to hospital by ambulance and were suffering from smoke inhalation.
• A further woman and child were treated on the scene for smoke inhalation

Thirty one people were evacuated from the building by police officers.